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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Autonomy crucial to uphold cultural identity, protect territorial integrity – Vice Gov. Odiem

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Tabuk City, Kalinga - Vice Governor Dave Odiem, in his message for the 34th Founding Anniversary of Cordillera, emphasized the importance of becoming an autonomous region since it is only then “that we will be able to protect and preserve our cultural identity and territorial integrity from outsiders.”

Odiem appealed to all Cordillerans to remain united and steadfast towards achieving the shared dream for regional autonomy, and in line with this year’s them ‘through green recovery’ despite the worldwide difficulties caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

Achieving autonomous is to “strengthen our Cordilleran unique identity defined by our indigenous cultures and values, our belief and our interest in protecting our ancestral domains, our natural resources, our forest, agricultures and fisheries,” Odiem said.

“The distinctive historical heritage, economic and social structures and other relevant characteristic of the cordillera strongly serve as a challenge and inspiration for the Cordillera people to pursue their aspirations for an autonomous government,” the vice governor added.

Odiem described the Cordillera mountain ranges as a host to a vast reservoir of natural resources. This reservoir natural resources, he explained, can tapped to implement green recovery programs such as mini hydroelectric projects, geothermal energy projects, responsible mining industries and other environmental friendly endeavors.

“These serves as a stimulus for more extensive economic development in the cordillera region. As one we will heal, survive and recover what was lost,” affirmed the vice governor.

Odiem likewise underscored that Cordillera Administrative Region, established on July 15, 1987 through Executive Order No. 220, is the only landlocked region of the Philippines.

This is because of its mountainous topography and therefore dubbed as the watershed cradle of the North Luzon as it hosts major rivers that provides continuous irrigation for Northern Luzon.


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